Is it only Ends that matter in these progressive days?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

I said the other day that it was hard to understand why so many people had a positive view of the UN and its agencies; but is it?

Could it be that it’s the aims and purposes of the UN that render it somewhat immune from criticism.  For example, who can be against world peace, the end of poverty, the enhancement of social justice, the elimination of hunger, etc, etc?  Never mind that the organisation has feet of clay, just remember what it’s trying to do.  How could you not be on the UN’s side, and willing to defend it through thick and thin?

This point is not confined to the UN, but is applicable, it seems, to any organisation or institution that has laudable aims.  It’s a partial explanation of why the German National Socialist regime of 1933 to 1945 is so thoroughly reviled, whilst the policies of communist governments which resulted in far more deaths of their own and other citizens, are never viewed in the same way.  They, after all, were trying to create a better society, weren’t they, one way or another: the new Jerusalem.

Thus it is that the means can be forgiven provided the Ends are ok.  We see the same today in the UK where political outfits that claim to be pursuing progressive Ends built on the idea of human perfectibility are given a relatively easy ride by the liberal-left media.  For example, what does it matter that a few hundred million pounds are lost, pilfered or wasted from the overseas aid budget when the goal is so laudable?  And if this is how you think, it's apparently unthinkable that others can think differently; hence intolerance grows.

I wonder, in passing, what the many global learning programmes teach about the UN.  Is it a questioning ESD2 approach or a more transmissive but less rounded ESD1 one?

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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  • Interesting blog point. To comment that 'revered' organizations need to be considered critically should (ought) to be an ongoing process that is lauded. Groupthink (voluntary and involuntary) is possibly the most insidious way that tyranny can develop regardless of the original goals. Your earlier article on ESD1 vs. ESD2 has a lot to say on this matter.